MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Zimmerman: 'Sometimes you feel lucky'

Nationals star clubs 10th career walk-off homer off foul pole for first runs off Miller

Zimmerman: 'Sometimes you feel lucky'

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper has been getting most of the publicity lately, but Ryan Zimmerman is the face of the franchise because of what he does on and off the field since 2005.

On Tuesday night, Zimmerman put himself in rare company by hitting his 10th career walk-off home run in the 10th inning to give Washington an 8-6 victory over the Yankees.

"It's pretty special isn't it," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "You don't realize anything like that until it's pointed out. It just means he knows what he is doing. He hits in that situation like he did tonight. He got ahead in the count and got a good pitch to hit. He has power to all fields, and we know that."

Must C: Zimmerman's walk-off HR

It was the Nationals' third walk-off victory this season and Zimmerman's second walk-off against the Yankees. The first one came on June 18, 2006, when Zimmerman hit the game-winner off right-hander Chien-Ming Wang.

Zimmerman said he was lucky to be in that situation, but that he probably won't appreciate what he has accomplished until his career is over.

"I'm just happy for the win, being able to help us win games. That's the most important thing," Zimmerman said.

With one out and Yunel Escobar on first, Zimmerman swung at a 3-1 pitch from left-hander Andrew Miller and hit the ball off the right-field foul pole. They were the first runs Miller allowed in 18 appearances this season.

Williams on walk-off win

"It was real fair in the beginning, and then it started to take a right turn," Zimmerman said. "I know I hit it good enough. It was a matter of staying fair. I got lucky, and then it hit the pole. Sometimes you feel lucky."

Zimmerman said the key to the at-bat was laying off Miller's sliders.

"I worked to get into a count, and he made a mistake and I put a swing on it," Zimmerman said.

After Zimmerman touched home plate, teammate Max Scherzer showered him with chocolate syrup.

"That's a pretty aggressive celebration, but that's Max, so it's good," Zimmerman said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.